JSL – Japanese Sign Language


  • JSL has over 320,000 native language users and is one of the most commonly used sign languages in the world.
  • Mouthing is important in JSL as it helps distinguish between signs, especially those which have multiple meanings. Other sign languages, such as ASL, do not focus on mouthing as much as signers of JSL.
  • Fingerspelling is another aspect of sign language that JSL signers use frequently in conversation. This feature is not as common in general signed conversation in ASL.
  • Native users may even “draw” the Japanese alphabet in front of them.



Sentence Structure:

JSL borrows heavily from Japanese spoken language, however it is not “a signed form of Japanese”, it is its own language…

Users have word order:

Subject, Object, and then Verb (SOV)